Please remember that, although the public is welcome, this is private property, and permissions are granted only by the owner, Mary Jo Ballator. 

Historically, my yard has been a sanctuary for birders to study and view the birds of the Huachuca Mountains.  People who come to my yard do so for many reasons, not the least of which is to enjoy the peace and quiet to be found here.  Please keep voices low, and unnecessary conversations to a minimum.  All my guests as well as my close neighbors will appreciate your consideration. 

With the advent of digital cameras, the hobby of photography has grown rapidly, and increasing numbers of cameras, monopods and tripods have at times caused problems.  This yard offers a unique opportunity for viewing birds at very close range.  Moving around with photographic equipment at such close range often disturbs the birds and disrupts the birding experience for others.  It also increases wear and tear on this fragile desert environment.  This policy is intended to assure that everyone, birders and photographers alike, can have an enjoyable experience here, with unobstructed views of all the feeders in the feeding areas.  Flagrant abuse of the policy will result in your being asked to leave without a refund.  If  you are not sure about the rules, I am almost always around to ask.

Day Use Photography Policy

This policy governs day-use photography in the public area only; it does not apply to the area around the blind, which is reserved for an additional fee, or to B&B (overnight)  guests, who have additional options.  Tripods used with spotting scopes, as long as the scopes are not being used for “digiscope” photography, are permitted for no additional fee.

  • Use of cameras without tripods/monopods: permitted for your $5 per person day-use fee.  Please use all cameras while seated, or while standing behind chairs. Taking photos while walking around the yard is not permitted. 
  • Use of cameras with tripods or monopods:  Permitted for your $5 per person day-use fee plus a $15 fee for your tripod or monopod. ($20 total). Use while seated, with tripod or monopod directly in front of you at chest level.  If you prefer to stand, you must do so behind the chairs, in designated spots.  Standing spaces are limited to designated areas. If in doubt, ask.
  • Photographers must stay in areas where there are paths and chairs.  
  • The use of flash is generally discouraged. It disturbs other guests and me.
  • Do not move chairs to get closer to the birds.  
  • Do not block paths with tripods. 
  • Feeders may not be modified, moved, added, or removed.
  • Please respect my privacy when photographing near my house.
  • Feeding Station Hours:  Wednesdays noon to dusk. Dawn to dusk on all other days.  There are no  toilet facilities for day use.

Reserved Area (around the blind) Photography Policy

The area surrounding the blind may be used by advanced reservation only. The daily fee is $100.00 per person, with a limit of five people. It includes unlimited use of the area in and around the blind, as well as all admission fees for the day. Included in this, you may also use the remainder of the public area to photograph, subject to the Day Use Photography Policy as stated above.

Overnight Guest Photography Policy

High-speed photography set-ups away from the public areas are permitted to B&B guests and are included in the room fee. If you require feeders to be set up in advance of your arrival, please arrange this with Mary Jo well in advance.  There are some photographic props available, such as various perches, but you are responsible for providing any plants and flowers you may need. Flowers from the garden may not be picked to use as props.

Announcing: 2017 Bird Photography Class
(held here and at the Casa de San Pedro Inn)
Dave & Kristin Allen’s Southeast Arizona Field Workshop
September 20-24, 2017
Click here for more information.

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